Since last week’s column I’ve heard from many readers representing both parties who agree something must be done to get our elected officials and their respective parties to work together to address the issues facing the nation and spend less time focused on campaign elections and catering to vocal minority groups. If ever our voices are to be heard it’s during the next two-and-a-half months when they see so much at stake when running for office. We can do more than hope they are open to voter input as this is the time when they have a need from us. Their need is a vote and our need is to give them specific direction and then hold them accountable.
If our country were a household and the two political parties represented the responsible parents who make the decisions, and the voters represent the children of the household who depend on their parents to provide food, finances and a safe shelter, then clearly we have a very dysfunctional family unit. These two can’t agree on anything. It’s either time for a divorce or it’s time for the children to convince their parents to clean up their act and be the responsible adults they claim to be. We have allowed these parental figures far too much control over this relationship by sitting back and it’s time to let them know their behavior is no longer acceptable. At a time when we must either tell our children to not expect a better life then we enjoyed or start confronting those who run this country…well that choice of who to speak with seems very clear.
So what can we do in the short time we have left in this election season? I think we start by testing our ability to influence those decision makers running for office and the parties they represent. I believe we start by demanding that they stop these endless and stupid attack ads. Do we care that either side sees the other side as useless, selfish, drunken, lying, good-for-nothing bums, whores, killers or whatever else their sadistic ad people can conjure up? If we are ever going to influence a change we must demand that they tell us why they are qualified for the job and exactly what they plan to do, when they plan to do it and most importantly, how they will get the other side to go along with their plan, for without this component nothing will happen and we expect to see results. If they are unable to meet this standard, why in hell would we want to put them in charge and waste our time and money? If we, as the electorate, can’t make something as basic as this request happen during this highly charged, contested season, then we, as members of this nation, are really nothing more than pawns and we will never really have any say in the direction or tone of this government.
If those running for office can focus on giving us a clear choice between two competing ideas or plans rather than spending all of their — make that our — money and efforts designing marketing plans to tear down the other side they have only proven they are good at destroying people and ideas with lies and innuendo, while planting doubt, lack of trust and further dysfunction…and what kind of choice is that? The reality is they either don’t think we are smart enough to understand anything more than empty promises, or they know the slim minority of those who will ultimately decide the election are simple minded enough to believe their lies. We can no longer allow that small minority to set the agenda for our nation. Either way, if we don’t demand higher standards from them we will continue to get more of what we’ve been getting. Additionally, these new Super PACS that the candidates (wink-wink) have no control over are just another example of the disrespect they have for the American electorate.
I believe the time has come to demand that they be accountable or it’s time for the “divorce.” What exactly do I mean by divorce? In any household where the adults are not responsible enough to provide the basic necessities, someone must step in and put things in order, be it a grandparent, family member or some other responsible adult. If the parties can’t put forward candidates with ideas and plans to move the nation forward then they should be dismantled and replaced. That will only happen if members of those parties step forward and make it known they have the will and power to do so by resigning from the party, refusing to vote or by getting involved, taking greater control and demanding true change. If the party has no base to play to it may force them to greater accountability.
Send this column with your endorsement or draft a letter telling your party what you expect; Democrats to my.democrats.org/page/s/contact-the-democrats and Republicans to gop.com/contact-us/. Tell them you’ve heard and seen enough. Tell them you demand they quit the attack ads and start putting forth a substantial message on why their candidates are qualified and exactly what they plan to do to put our nation back on track for the sake of future generations. Share the message with friends and family through personal contact, phone, mail, email or social media. Let your voices and wishes be heard with every candidate and party member you come in contact with. Make your presence felt at candidate nights and other political and social functions. If enough of us move to the middle before the election it just might make them nervous and get their attention. Our nation requires a serious effort and they better prove they are up to the task.
At the recent Olympic Games in London our US Team proved if you work hard and set demanding goals you can be successful. Our political leaders need to elevate their game and if they won’t we must be willing to force a change. Our Olympic team refused to accept mediocrity, repeatedly exceeded previously set records, can we allow our country and our children to accept the fact that our best days are now behind us? It’s a very sad day if we do and shame on us for allowing it to happen during our watch. It will take hard work, sacrifice and every single person to turn around this dismal condition but it can be done if we have the resolve and desire to make good choices this fall. We all must do our part and it must start today.
Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.